RMT to ballot all tube fleet for action as London Underground doubles time between crucial safety inspections

Publication Date: August 6 2010

TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it is preparing a ballot for action of all tube fleet maintenance staff following an announcement by London Underground that they plan to double the length of time between safety-critical train inspections from 14 days to 28 days.

The inspections, of braking systems and other equipment that it is crucial to staff and passenger safety, are being cut in frequency as a blatant cost saving measure which is just part of the overall cuts drive being bulldozed through by Transport for London.

RMT have warned that these latest tube maintenance cuts are another element of an overall attack on jobs and safety that would leave fleet staff facing the threat of the axe – a threat that London Underground have not denied.

All RMT LU fleet staff will be balloted for action short of a strike.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

Hardly a day goes by now without TfL and LU getting caught out playing fast and loose with staff and passenger safety. These fortnightly inspections identify worn brake blocks, cracks in securing brackets and other distressed components. Moving these inspections to monthly is literally dicing with death in the interests of saving money.

Highly skilled fleet maintenance crew are the latest group of tube workers to find that their jobs are under threat as the TfL cuts bulldozer ploughs on regardless of the consequences.

Mayor Boris Johnson is presiding over the biggest safety carve-up on London Underground in its history and yet he remains silent on these issues as his managers are out there sharpening their knives.

RMT has a stark choice – ballot for action or sit back and wait for a disaster to unfold. We have chosen to ballot for action.”

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